And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”
(Mark 1:40-44 ESV)
Leprosy is not a common disease back then, and not just a normal illness. Having leprosy in the community of Israel means expulsion form Israelites community. They will be put outside the community, and are not allowed to be touched for fearing that the illness will infect other people. No one will want to touch them, and they will have to warn people whenever they’re around by crying “unclean, unclean.”
He is a leprous man, he is unclean. The priest must pronounce him unclean; his disease is on his head.
The leprous person who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean.’ He shall remain unclean as long as he has the disease. He is unclean. He shall live alone. His dwelling shall be outside the camp.
(Leviticus 13:44-46 ESV)
So Jesus’ act of healing the man with leprosy is not just a mere healing, but also shows his mercy and willingness to accept someone who is sick and rejected!
Jesus also told him to report back to the priest, just like what Moses commanded in the book of Leviticus chapter 14.
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
(Mark 1:35-39 ESV)
While normal superstar would love the public attention and their popularity, Jesus is different. Throughout the book of Mark we’ll see this pattern of Jesus withdrawing from the crowd to a solitary place. Instead of building a permanent strong follower base, he goes to pray and stay true to his mission which is to preach about the good news from God. :)
That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
(Mark 1:32-34 ESV)
Jesus continues healing people and casting out the demons showing his authority as the Son of God. It’s probably a bit weird that Jesus would not permit the demons to speak of Jesus’ true nature, but it’s so that Jesus can control the way in which people will come to know who he really is.
And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them. (Mark 1:29-31 ESV)
And not only that Jesus is capable of driving out evil spirits, Jesus also has the authority to heal people’s sickness :)
Also not many people know this, but Simon Peter was actually married since he had a mother in law :D
And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee. (Mark 1:27-28 ESV)
What is this?? A new teaching with authority!! Finally it’s not only just another prophecy, but the fulfilment of the Old Testament has became flesh in Jesus!